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Black Orpheus

48

Marcel Camus’ reinterpretation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice reaches epic dramatic heights and dark emotional depths in this winner of the 1959 Palme d’Or at Cannes and of the 1960 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Attributed as the cultural milestone that introduced Bossa Nova music to the Western world (via Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa’s musical score) "Black Orpheus" sets its mythic tale against Rio do Janeiro’s Carnival where popular streetcar driver Orpheus (Breno Mello) falls madly in love with a lovely country girl named Eurydice (played exquisitely by Marpessa Dawn). A ‘snake bite’ from an electrical wire robs Orpheus of his dream lover and his is driven to explore the mysterious land of the dead to reunite with her. Infectious Samba and Bossa Nova rhythms permeate the beautifully filmed earthy Brazilian atmosphere of Carnival. "Black Orpheus" is an unforgettable classic of cinematic poetry, music and myth. Special features include the full uncut version of the film (with four minutes of previously unseen material), a French-dubbed soundtrack and the French theatrical trailer. Aspect ratio is 1.33:1, with sound quality in remastered monaural. (Movie – Five Stars, DVD features – Three Stars) Not Rated, 107 mins. (Criterion)

July 2, 2006 in Foreign | Permalink